Part one: tooling
Before we delve into how we use generative AI assistants in our content writing workflow, let’s discuss the tools we use: Jasper AI and ChatGPT. Keep in mind that these tools are constantly changing: our assessment is based on what we know at the end of 2023.
ChatGPT vs. Jasper AI
Prior to the release of ChatGPT (and for a few months afterwards), we used Jasper AI, an “AI copilot for enterprise marketing teams''. As they like to point out in their own comparison withChatGPT, Jasper AI is a pay-to-use specialised tool with its own proprietary AI engine and purpose-built templates and functionalities for copywriters and marketeers. It can help you draft a content marketing plan, write the perfect LinkedIn post, optimise your texts for SEO, take your company’s tone of voice into account, and much more.
ChatGPT, on the other hand, is a completely free general AI assistant. It’s like a Swiss army knife: you can use it for pretty much everything from writing poetry in the style of the Wu-Tang Clan, to planning trips and activities, generating meal plans, therapy, … you name it, you can (probably) use ChatGPT for it.
Besides being free, ChatGPT’s main benefit at the time was its conversational chat interface. It's hard for humans to describe everything you want from a certain text in a single prompt, and it's hard for an AI to properly account for all the prompt requirements in the final output. Working iteratively lets you tweak your output until you get it just right.
Which tool do we use?
A few months after ChatGPT launched, we realised that we weren’t usingJasper AI as much, if at all, anymore. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that both tools have since added each other’s functionalities.
Jasper AI now has a JasperChat function in addition to its regular options, and there are a lot of (unofficial) ChatGPT community prompts out there for nearly every use case imaginable.Of course, this includes similar functionalities to what Jasper AI offers, like longread blog posts, LinkedIn posts, content marketing brainstorms, … We tried out many of these prompts, but found the quality of their output somewhat lacking.
At the moment, we are exclusively using the free version of ChatGPT(based on GPT 3.5) using our own custom prompts that we’ve written and tweaked over the past year or so. We currently have prompts for website pages, blogs, reviews, meta descriptions, and general “fruity” informal content.
While doing research for this blog, Jasper AI managed to (re)pique our interest with their added brand voice functionalities. We’re also intrigued by their proprietary engine, which apparently now uses “all the best large language models from OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and others including [their] own customised model”. We may give Jasper AI another shot in the near future, although we’ve established a good workflow with ChatGPT in the past year.
What have we learned?
We could go on and on about the differences between Jasper AI andChatGPT. To keep things somewhat digestible, we’ll end this blog with a summarised version of our learnings from the past two years of using generative AI assistants.
· In general, we’d recommend Jasper AI for beginners if you can spare the cost. ChatGPT is more suited for advanced users and experienced copywriters that know how to handle its peculiarities, like the very American-sounding tone of voice.
· No matter which tool you use, having a chat-based interface is a huge advantage. Conversational AI allows you to tweak and (re)generate outputs, both in content and tone of voice, and retain the context fora certain company going for an entire conversation — although you may have tore mind the AI of its specifics occasionally.
· Targeted functionalities and prompts, like the “classic” functionalities of Jasper AI, will give you a better starting point. However, their output will also be more limited in scope, since you can only modify parts of the response. You could also use it to define personas. For example, we often switch between a ‘young marketeer’ and ‘experienced technical copywriter’ persona based on the expected output.
· Both JasperAI and ChatGPT are SaaS (Software as a Service), and therefore very easy to use. Just create an account, and you’re good to go. Training and configuring your own model is just not worth it, except for the largest companies out there, and even then it’s debatable.
· If you are dealing with confidential data, you may want to consider using either Jasper AI or ChatGPT Enterprise. Both tools come with their own additional cost compared to ChatGPT’s free tier, but offer advanced privacy and security features and language models.
· Finally, if you just happen to know a copywriter called Jasper, Jasper AI is great forgiving said colleague a mild existential crisis by having it generate a short story about how a generative AI with his name will replace him in the near future.
In the second part of this blog, we will take a closer look at how we use ChatGPT in every part of our workflow for blogs and other content writing. Stay tuned!